Experienced Kidnapping Defense Attorney
Defense against kidnapping and abduction charges in Columbia and Charleston
Kidnapping isn’t usually the way we see it on television or in the movies, with ransom notes and carefully planned drop-offs and secret phone calls. Often, kidnapping happens in the heat of the moment – when the accused is emotionally charged and sometimes not even aware he or she has broken the law.
Kidnapping is the act of taking an adult or minor against his or her will to an undisclosed or any other location. The intent behind a kidnapping typically factors into the charges and penalties that follow. For example, an individual may receive significant penalties if he or she kidnaps someone while committing another crime, as opposed to someone charged with kidnapping in relation to a custody dispute. This is why it’s so important to retain skilled counsel immediately if you’re facing charges.
Kidnapping and related offenses are felony crimes, carrying significant consequences on conviction, including prison time. Often, kidnapping charges are held in federal court – meaning your entire future could be at risk. Here at The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A., we work aggressively to build a strong defense, protecting your future and your freedom. Whether you’ve been charged with kidnapping or believe you may be under investigation, call us immediately for assistance. We’ll speak to authorities on your behalf to ensure preservation of your rights.
“Remember, an arrest is not a conviction.” - Attorney Hough
What’s the legal definition of kidnapping?
According to South Carolina Code § 16-3-910, individuals can be charged with kidnapping if they unlawfully seize, confine, inveigle, decoy, kidnap, abduct, or carry away any other person by any means whatsoever without authority of law (except when a minor is seized or taken by his or her parent).
Because kidnapping is a felony, a conviction can result in up to 30 years in jail. If the kidnapping results in a murder, prison time and other penalties will be even more significant. Conspiracy to commit kidnapping is also a felony crime and the same penalties apply.
Often, kidnapping charges come as an addition to other charges like burglary, robbery, or sexual assault. Prosecutors typically do this to enhance the primary charges, leading to overall increased penalties on conviction. As you can see, the government and prosecutors take the crime of kidnapping very seriously. Attorney Hough provides serious and strong representation.
When does kidnapping become a federal offense?
There are several circumstances under which kidnapping charges can move from the state to the federal crime level, which can make the penalties much more severe. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, federal agents get involved in kidnapping cases when:
- A child under age 16 is taken out of the country by a non-custodial parent
- If the kidnapped individual is transported over state lines
- The kidnapped individual is a federal employee
- The kidnapped individual is a foreign official or has international protection
- The kidnapping occurs in maritime or aircraft jurisdictions
Parental and family kidnappings are typically left to the state, unless the minor was taken out of the country, which then makes it a federal crime.
What are some possible defenses against kidnapping charges?
As a seasoned criminal defense lawyer, Attorney Hough has represented thousands of clients over his decades of work. He has many defense strategies and approaches to success for his clients, including:
- You had legal custody
- You were falsely accused
- You were a victim of mistaken identity
- Lack of intent
- Lack of proof on the prosecution’s side
- The victim was not moved far enough to qualify as a kidnapping
- Offense did not qualify as a kidnapping because victim consented
It’s also important to remember that an arrest is not a conviction – we work to ensure your criminal record and your reputation remain clean, and you retain your freedom and your rights. Because of the potentially stiff penalties that can come along with a kidnapping conviction, it’s imperative you have skilled legal counsel on your side.
The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. also aggressively defends clients against other criminal charges, including assault, arson, kidnapping, and charges against college students. We also handle drunk driving defense.
How a Columbia & Charleston kidnapping defense attorney can help
When we take your case, we commit ourselves to your defense. We understand the consequences of a criminal conviction and build a strong defense on your behalf. In fact, we prepare every case as if we were going to trial, and we negotiate with local prosecutors and authorities to protect your constitutional rights, and defending those rights in court when negotiations stall. With so much at stake, you need a lawyer with both the experience and the tenacity to follow your case through, working to either minimize your charges or have them dismissed altogether.
We investigate every aspect of your case and provide insightful legal guidance in determining what’s in your best interests going forward. Whether you want to negotiate, plea bargain, plead down the charges, or go to trial, we’ll advocate and fight for you every step of the way. Attorney Hough’s strong track record of accomplishments speaks for itself.
Skilled defense when you’re facing kidnapping charges in SC
If you’ve been arrested and charged with kidnapping – or believe you’re under investigation – you need a serious attorney who’s willing to go all the way for you. At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A., we believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and we’ll use all the resources at our disposal to have the charges against you minimized or dropped. Our priority is your freedom and your future. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Columbia or Charleston, please call 803-771-4119 or fill out our contact form.